Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The moment we've all been waiting for...

YES!! That's is a genuine, 100% purely sweet Elijah smile. I was tickling Eli's toes after his OT appointment this morning and he was so worn out from exercising that he just thought the toe tickles were the greatest thing in the world. Today is the first day that I can honestly say I have seen my son smile at me. It was the greatest feeling in the world. Despite all that we go through each week: appt after appt, therapy sessions, exercises, meds, many, many diaper changes, dealing w/ his finicky feeding pump, the stress of having a medically fragile child...this moment just made all those things fade into little nothings. My son knows his Mommy and he loves me...and yes, I am crying as I post this.
Eli is still pretty picky on who he gives his affection to. He only smiled the one time and since has been fussy the rest of the day. He tends to get pretty tired out on his exercise day, esp since he had dr appts on both Mon & Tues and we still have a synagis injection and nurse visit to look forward to on Fri. I know even though Eli can't see my face and see my smile, he knows that his Mommy loves him. The priceless picture I was able to take this morning will always be there to remind me of that.

Eli is sweet just the way he is, smiling from the inside :)

All of my precious first smiles

Kaitlyn (8 wks), Genny (9 wks), Eli (15 wks)

Gen & Eli are adjusted ages

Another day, another doctor (eye)

Tuesday was our fun day at the eye doctors. First we got to take Genny into her opthamologist. Her eyes had gotten a little worse since her exam last year. She is still very farsighted. Little kids are normally farsighted, and they allow up to a +2 in both eyes w/o being treated. Genny is a +8 in her right eye and +6.5 in her left eye. The eye doc was a little concerned about a stigmatism in her right eye, as that eye is getting progressively worse. She gave her a stronger prescription for her glasses and we got to go back in 3-months to see if her right eye gets stronger. If not, then we will discuss doing an eye patch and/or drops to try and strengthen her right eye. We had a lot of fun picking out new glasses for Miss Genny (note the sarcasm). Genny loves her rainbow glasses, but unfortunately they don't make that style anymore. So, the new glasses were either too big, too little, or too sloppy (a new phrase Genny made up for the occasion). We just decided to pick out a pink round frame similar to her old glasses, and well, she will just have to like them. The new glasses should be here in a week, so I'll post pics on how the new glasses look and go over with Miss Gen.
We got to spend Tuesday afternoon at Elijah's ROP doctor. We still don't have the go ahead to bring Elijah to the opthamologist. The ROP doc wants to watch Eli until his ROP has completely regressed. The good news is that Eli's retinas are developing normally now, meaning the laser surgery was successful. Eli is still on the dilating eye drops twice a day and he didn't want to wean him off them just yet. We get to go back to the ROP doc in another month.
I think the ROP doc keeps forgetting how old Eli really is b/c of how little he still looks. I was discussing how I was worried that Eli still wasn't really tracking or looking at faces. When Eli does try and focus, his eyes cross a ton. It only gets worse when he tires, and then he is always cross-eyed. The doc said that eye crossing is considered normal until 6-months of age (Eli is adjusted 3.5 mths). The fact that it is more dominant in the eye that we already know is weaker, his left eye b/c it actually developed plus disease and a ridge that was lasered off, and the fact that Eli does it all of the time he said was definitely something to watch. We got to make an appointment w/ the pediatric opthamologist specialist for 2-days after we see the ROP doc next month. So, both of my itty bits will be getting some new specs in another month and we will probably have two tiny pirates in our house. Genny seemed happy at the thought of her baby brother having glasses just like her. She said, he'll need really really little glasses.

Eli's a well-baby, 6-month appt

Eli's 6-mth appt with his pediatrician went well. It was pretty short and sweet since we are already working with alot of other specialists. Eli is still working his way up the growth grid. I just dread plotting him on those things b/c it creates excess worry when he doesn't follow the magical curve. Eli was 6 lbs 13 oz (he was almost 6 lbs 15 oz, little stinker lost 2 oz overnight), 20.25" in length and 15" head circumference. His head circumference is actually in the 3rd percentile (for adjusted age of 3 months 1 week) and height for weight is in the 3rd percentile as well. I think for Elijah, he is doing well.
The worst part of the appointment was the dreaded shots. Eli had to get 5 shots, plus his flu shot since he is now over 6-months old. It wasn't that terrible though, he screamed for a second and was comforted as soon as Mommy picked him up. My poor baby is so used to being poked, he still has his Synagis injection this Friday.
Afterwards the girls had their flu shots. That was not fun. Kaitlyn was so innocently sweet. She was so proud to sit up like a big girl on the table and didn't want to sit in Mommies lap. Then she got this worried look on her face when I held her arm straight...then the big shriek "OWWIE, *sniff* I DON'T LIKE SHOTS". Genny immediately started crying b/c she knew I was going to hold her down too. She got a shot in her leg and then refused to walk out of the office b/c of her big owwie. So, I got to be SuperMom again. I had Eli in his carrier on one arm, Genny in the other arm, feeding tube on my back, diaper bag on one elbow and Kaitlyn trying to hold on my fingers that were holding the baby carrier. Luckily the car was parked somewhat in the front b/c it the kids were darn heavy, very cranky and it was cold.
Eli's fun day didn't get to end there. We had to drive down to Children's hospital b/c the lab at our clinic didn't want to draw his blood. Well, poor little guy was so dehydrated and is getting so thin that his skins sags on his arms and legs. They couldn't find a decent vein to do his labs on. So, the tech decided that she was going to draw from the superficial veins on his scalp. She decided to go for a vein on his right side, and I wasn't even thinking, but Eli's neck is so tight to his left side. As soon as she got the needle starting to go in, Eli whipped his head back to the left, ripping out the needle and tape. Poor baby got a good size bruise on his head and he started shrieking. I calmed him down, but we still had to hold him down and try and draw from the other side of his head. At least his second poke was quick and efficient.
Despite all the drama and tears, I think we had a good appointment. We can rejoice that Eli's labs all came back normal. The kids got their flu shots and Eli didn't have any major reactions to his shots (other then a slight fever and being very sleepy after his eventful day). Please continue to pray that the kids can stay healthy and that the Lord will give Elijah strength to grow.

Just a little cranky

Oh Christmas Tree

We put the Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving this year, so the kids could enjoy it longer. I think we will have a fight if we try and put it away anytime before Valentines Day. Our tree is little and sweet, a perfect fit for our family. Elijah loves the lights and will actually sit for 10-min at a time just staring at the tree.

It's the most beautiful thing I've ever saw

All three of my children in one shot, a big accomplishment. I just love how Elijah is looking up at his big sister Kaitlyn. They have such a special bond. Genny still isn't too interested in her brother, but she promised a picture for a piece of bubble gum.

Happy Bday Great-Great Grandma Gen

I just love the way Elijah is looking up at his Great-great Grandma.
A picture of two amazingly strong people.

We are so blessed to be able to spend Great-great Grandma Gen's 94th birthday with her. The kids had a lot of fun at the party entertaining relatives. Kaitlyn performed her dance routines and then want into a rendition of her latest drama skits. Genavieve, Great-great Grandma's namesake, did a good job charming everyone. She even talked GG-grandma out of her favorite cakes (mini-banana bread loaves). Eli did an excellent performance of his cute baby things. He slept, looked around at the lights for a bit, and did his big finish all up his back, legs and outfit. Luckily we always bring 3 outfits whenever we got out.

We tried to get a picture with all of the kids and GGG-Gen, but they didn't think it was such a fun idea.

Eli enjoying the party his way, sound asleep

Hey, who woke the baby?

Kaitlyn and her Shawn

Santa and the three little elves

We were able to take all three kids to my Dad's union Christmas party this year. It was a lot of fun, esp. since I remember going to the parties when I was a kid and now I am bringing all three of my little ones there. The girls had a blast and I kept Eli safe and cozy up against my chest in his Bjorn.

Breakfast, the all healthy donut
Kaitlyn already finished hers for the picture
The girls insisted we wait in the super long line to get their face-painted. They got to listen to the Teddy Bear band while they waited patiently (LOL, ok while they fought in line). Kaitlyn got to be a snow princess and Genny was a snowflake.

The girls loving their Grandma Becky and Gumpa

Kaitlyn and her Mommy (no resemblance at all)

Of course the big man in red was there. Kaitlyn was insistent that she did not want to see Santa this year. Genny loved to tease her sister that she wanted to see Santa. So, Mommy and Eli waited in line w/ Genny for 20-minutes to go and see him. As soon as we got to the front of the line, Genny decided that she was too scared to go alone. Hence another goofy picture of Mommy with Santa (I think this is my 4th year "visiting" Santa)

Kaitlyn did her typical thing, 5-minutes after Genny got done seeing Santa, she decided she had to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. So back in line we went. At least this time we got a cute picture of just the girls. For those reading from the North Pole, Kaitlyn asked for a new video game and a Barbie that has a tail and wings (a mermaid?) Genny wants a twain w/ a twain table. Eli thinks he would like a clean diaper.